HC Deb 26 May 1949 vol 465 c1425
24. Captain John Crowder

asked the Minister of Health why supplies of the Medresco hearing aid are being exported when there is still so much delay in meeting demands in this country.

Mr. Bevan

I would refer to the reply I gave on 5th May to the hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Swingler) and the hon. Member for Hemel Hempstead (Viscountess Davidson).

Captain Crowder

Is the Minister aware that another make of hearing aid is being exported by the Medresco people, and would not it be better if the Minister contracted to take over the whole of the output of this company, so that there would be more hearing aids available for the people in this country?

Mr. Bevan

The output of the Medresco hearing aid will shortly be doubled. In the meantime the aid that is being exported is not the Government hearing aid. Of course, it is essential in all these matters to have a proper balance between home demand and the export market.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

Can the Minister say whether any part of that doubled production will be for export, or will the whole be available for home consumption?

Mr. Bevan

I am speaking of the Medresco aid, and the whole production will be for the home market.

Colonel Stoddart-Scott

Does the Minister think that the 30,000 people waiting for this hearing aid will be satisfied?

Mr. Bevan

I am satisfied that all those people who have had the Medresco aid—almost all of them—are highly satisfied, and before very long the waiting list, I hope, will be met. There are 25 centres open in the country at the present time, and as soon as we get the hearing aids they will be made available.